Surprise Answer to Who First Screeched for Love & Adoration
— Inspirational Debate now widely held in nursing homes
Well, I’m not yet in a nursing home. But at age 72, with heart ailments among other things, I’m close to the dying side of things. Indeed, my day crossing through Edge City will soon come. These days I only lay down a bunt, stretch a single into a double, go from first to third or steal a base in my dreams. Doing a split on stage while playing my guitar is nothing but a fit of my imagination.
Methinks I’m near-ready for a rockin’ walker!
The Other Option
Despite the insistence of Socrates and his penchant for knowing nothing, there is today: The Great Debate — Beatles or Rolling Stones!
A child of the ’60s, I’ve gone decades and today I’m an elder still rooting for The Yardbirds. Of course, I was prejudiced at a very young age. As a teenager I sat tripping on acid, in a small-city movie theater, watching the famous stage scene of The Yardbirds performing Stroll On in the movie Blow-Up — a scene, with a lesson in materialism, frozen in time!
From that movie on, my future became synched with hard rock music. Yes, The Beatles and Rolling Stones were and remain great — I never not liked them — but back in the days of formation I sensed they were rooted to the publicity monster from new-fab tv markets. Those two bands especially helped give rise to rock n’ roll marketing. To me, they were a Coke or a Pepsi-like choice. And so what if young kids screeched at their presence. To me, that only counted if the world were being changed. The Yardbirds did help change the world, but their method for doing so was more authentic.
As for politics of the ’60s? Yardbirds were the harder-hitting band. So in the great debate, when I take my place in the nursing home, you’ll see me squarely and strongly come down on the side of The Yardbirds:
Indeed, The Yardbirds were in the greater zone. They were wide-reaching, danceable and very moveable. To the plus side they never became victims of their own publicity. They’d take you places — where you wanted to go, either live, on the radio or on vinyl. Wherever you went, without music-playing devices — their songs were in your head … without the marketing.
This is one reason why they were so great. There are other reasons also:
Replete with three of the world’s best-ever guitarists, The Yardbirds drew upon the great American bluesmen and scorched their music into a rock n’ roll form so powerful the band itself became a drug. Yardbirds were well-rooted in the early phase of psychedelia.
Back in those days, The Beatles always seemed a safe bet, and The Rolling Stones a little bit less of a safe bet. Comparatively? Yardbirds were wild and politically they were early right-on point.
Screeching & Recognition
The marketing — Beatlemania and all — shows kids from the ’60s, mostly young girls, screeching more at The Beatles than The Rolling Stones. Although this can be a talking point for The Great Debate in nursing homes, it’s important to realize each member of The Rolling Stones also got more than their fair share of youthful screeching.
Wider recognition for members of The Yardbirds would come later as the band’s members — especially Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton — morphed into other groups: Led Zeppelin, Cream, Truth, Renaissance, Armageddon, Box of Frogs, etc. As a side note Keith Relf’s Armageddon band was pre-punk extraordinaire and way-way ahead of its time. T’was a true tragedy and great sadness when Relf got electrocuted in 1976 while rehearsing in his basement.
Credit The Poets — Rock Stars Were Second
Below, is a wonderful movie on YouTube about the life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the famous opium-eating poets. Coleridge, author of many poems, is especially renown for writing Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner, Frost at Midnight and Kubla Khan.
Scroll to 3:27 in the opening of the movie and you’ll note that as well-known poets, such as Lord Byron, would arrive at the mansion for the much-heralded poetry recitals, they’d be met by screeching women. These poets were adored by young women as they disembarked from their horse-drawn carriages.
Such was the life of a poet back a century or two ago.
As proven by the depiction in the movie of screaming adoration, today’s rock stars play second fiddle to yesterday’s poets. Who would have known, especially since, today, poetry is barely read.
But, lo and behold, I’ve done my part to keep tempo. I took Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan and converted it into song:
Though I’ve combined poem and song, nobody will ever screech for me. Truth be known, my mother is the only one who’d ever screech in appreciation for me … but she passed away long ago! Today, I’m nearly as old as was she when she died. Woe! Hence, The Great Nursing Home Debate!
But this leads us to an important question relative to adoringly screeching: Was there ever a time when men genuinely screeched in adoration of the creativity of women? A time other than a strip club, a whistle-walk down the street or when men at war would screech at naked or barely clad women performing war-zone stage shows?
The dichotomy and balance between women screeching at poets and rock stars and men screeching at strippers and raunchy stage performers seems severe, does it not? But who knows. Maybe the big-time athletes, the well-marketed wrestlers/UFC fighters and Hollywood stars have evened the tide. After all, these days men are also strippers. For sure, worthy female catcalls find their way!
But maybe, way back, when nylons came onto the market there was some actual genuine appreciation. The below photo could depict such a moment in time.
I know my dad screeched at my mom all the way from the war zone — lol!
Well, this proved an interesting article to write. Not only did I manage to include my mom and dad with myself in the same writing, but I bet I surprised a lotta folks by highlighting that women once adoringly screeched at the great poets, that it wasn’t just a Beatle or Rolling Stone thing.
Unfortunately, I’m gonna end on a sad note. Today, some would argue perhaps the poets might not even exist. Poets pretty much get ignored in today’s dog-eat-dog world, although many show on the stage as rappers. But not everyone sees the poetry in rap music. I do!
It’s as if lyrics from a song I wrote need become highlighted: